Did you know that books are remarkably like children?
You did know, of course, because you saw the title on this post and clicked on it. Either that or you saw “PAPER FURY HAS POSTED AGAIN!” on bloglovin’ or twitter or in your inbox and you clicked on it just out of sheer loyalty and adoration for me and the genius and wisdom and very very true facts I proclaim on this blog. In which case: I like you. *
But regardless, the fact that books are actually like human children is something I am about to wholly prove to you today. I do not, of course, have children. But I have a dog and that’s kind of the same thing. I also babysit three of my older sister’s children who are all under 6 years old respectively. And I was a child, once. Maybe???? I mean, there are rumours that (A) I’m a dragon hatchling, and (B) I don’t even exist. I confirm and deny nothing. But if you choose to believe that I was a child once then this post is UNDENIABLY TRUE ALREADY. **
* I mean, I like you all if you read my blog obviously. I wouldn’t pick favourites between my subjects.
** I’m so good at being convincing omg.
1. THEY’RE EXPENSIVE.
CHILDREN: I mean, at first you think “oh I’ll just collect a child and they can tumble up and play with sticks and stones and sleep in a drawer” and then the next thing you know you have to buy like everything, including specific furniture for them and toys and a gate so they don’t fall down the stairs and break their little necks because children are like motorised toys with no steering options.
BOOKS: At first it’s just “Oh I’ll buy this $15 paperback that’s super nice!” and next thing you know you’ve got to by NINE BOOKSHELVES and then FIVE HUNDRED BOOK FRIENDS so that paperback doesn’t get lonely. And your house is too small. You need a bigger house. A castle actually. A castle in Scotland. And — BOOM — that $15 has turned into you becoming a broke Scottish lord and how does this even happen?????
2. THEY DEMAND LOVE AND ATTENTION AND THEN HURT YOUR FEELINGS.
CHILDREN: When you acquire a child, you gotta love them. You have to take care of them and put in fresh batteries or whatever when they run low and feed them spinach or cake so they grow nice and strong. But then the heartless little monsters will see you fall over AND THEN LAUGH. Or have zero qualms about skipping hugging you to steal your iPod for games. Or take your food, literally out of your mouth. Or they smack you in the face because they have limited communication skills and Google Translate doesn’t help with this.
I feel attacked, okay?
BOOKS: It’s 100% the same. I make sure my books have a nice spot on the shelf and I hug and pet and tell them they’re God’s gift to this universe. Like any good parent. AND THEN I GO AND READ THEM AND THEY KILL ALL THE CHARACTERS I LOVE???? WHAT IS THIS???? AFTER ALL I’VE DONE?????
I feel so attacked that I am literally a corkboard being filled with thumbtacks and I didn’t ask for this life.
3. THEY CAN’T BE TRUSTED ANYWHERE BY THEMSELVES.
CHILDREN: These little hellions just wander off and could get hit by a bus or abducted or fall on their face because they’re as uncoordinated as cooked spaghetti with arms. It gets to the point that if you’re abroad with them you must hold them by 9 hands, put a tracker on them, and rope them to your hip.
BOOKS: They are even worse, especially with the abduction. I just leave my book on a table and come back to see MY SISTER FLICKING THROUGH IT??? LIKE NO???? WE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH ON THIS??? Plus the fact that if I just take my eyes off my book for 2 SECONDS it somehow has a bent cover or a crinkled page or a tiny tear on its dust jacket. Like how. And stop.
4. THEY HAVE ANNOYING GROWTH SPURTS FOR NO GOOD REASON.
CHILDREN: You buy them clothes/shoes and — BOOM — two weeks later they will never wear them again. How’s that for being purposefully cantankerous.
BOOKS: I don’t even understand how this happens, but you think “Oh I’ll collect hardcovers because they’re all the same size and will look nice on my shelf.” But yet nooooooooooo. This one is 2cm taller. That one has shrunk. They’re impersonating a staircase and you didn’t ask for this and your soul is bleeding as you scream into the void.
5. YOU COULD BE ACCUSED OF USING THEM TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE SUFFER.
CHILDREN: You know when someone says “Aww, that’s such a cute kid you have!” but the kid has like been screaming for the last 3 hours so the parent says “DO YOU WANT THEM”??? It happens. I have also perhaps held a baby who began to smell like it’d summoned the forces horror in its pants and then quickly handed it back to the parent with nothing more than, “Nice kid you have love it so much bye!” and then left the country.
BOOKS: There is nothing more pleasurable than giving a friend a really really really really painful book. And then laughing while they read it and descending into a swirling vortex of PAIN AND SUFFERING. It’s so fun! Great way to make friends too!
6. THEY RESEMBLE THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
CHILDREN: Often times if you have children, you get a rather matching set. I mean, this didn’t actually work out so well in my family because my brother is very ugly and I’m very adorable. Obviously. But my nieces/nephews all look identical which is why I collectively call them Frank because who has time to tell kids apart. Matching sets of children are, of course, nice. If you lose them in a crowd, you can pick out yours without too much hassle.
BOOKS: It’s always very satisfying and lovely when you have a nicely coordinated book family. In fact, get a boxset! Then they match in size, shape, and hair style and it’s all very calming and pleasing. It’s like owning a set of Von Trapps. Except books.
7. YOU TAKE PHOTOS OF THEM AND THEN PROUDLY DISPLAY THEM TO THE COMMONERS.
CHILDREN: I have many sisters with many children and they all enjoy cataloguing their activities. My own parents have albums of me as heinous child with a frown that would indicate either (A) someone just insulted my love of dragons, or (B) I was born not a child but a lemon.
BOOKS: Ask to see a bookworm’s mobile device and there’s a 96.4% chance they’ll have a picture of their bookshelves on there. Or their latest purchase. OR IN MY CASE, A MASS COLLECTION OF PHOTOS FROM THEIR LATEST #BOOKSTAGRAM PHOTOSHOOT. Like look at my children! See how pretty they are! See how they match! See how they take after me! That one as my nose!
8. THEY TAKE OVER YOUR HOUSE, AND YOUR FLOOR, AND YOUR LIFE BASICALLY.
CHILDREN: I mean what furniture does a child really need?? And yet if you walk into a house that contains creatures under 3 foot in height, you will DEFINITELY end up tripping over a toy that lights up and signs nursery rhymes of evil or you’ll tread on legos and die.
BOOKS: BOOKS ARE EVEN WORSE THOUGH. I constantly need more shelves. My entire life’s mantra is “more shelves”. You end up having piles of books on the floor. My bed is more book than blanket. I mean, at least they stack neatly???? But by this point I wouldn’t be surprised to find books peering out of my closet.
9. THEY DON’T EAT THEIR VEGETABLES.
CHILDREN: I was going to say something pithy about rude children avoiding vegetables but…Vegetables are a conspiracy theory. LETTUCE DOESN’T TRULY EXIST. IT’S JUST A MYTH TO SCARE CHILDREN. I don’t eat my vegetables and I’m also quite small, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
BOOKS: Books are impolite about eating just about anything. I mean, hey, I just want to eat lasagna and not have it look like a MURDER SCENE OF BLOOD AND TOMATOES AFTERWARDS.
10. THEY INVITE FRIENDS OVER WITHOUT CHECKING WITH YOU FIRST.
CHILDREN: This happens when children get a bit older and start to think it’s okay to socialise. (You should probably glare at them until they get over that stage.) And sometimes they bring stray dogs or horses home, or pet rocks with bad attitudes, or wandering spirits which then turn your nice life into the next instalment of a Supernatural episode.
BOOKS: Because obviously I am not the problem here. I just take a day or two off reading and then — WELL HELLO THERE 32 NEW BOOKS PLEASE LET ME LEAVE WITH MY LIFE. I don’t even know! They are seriously multiplying behind my back! TBRs grow without permission and invite their friends over and attract other homeless books and pretty soon it’s books inside = me outside. #NotMyFault